Anni Student Woes

I finished chapter 7 (of 12) of the Anni manual last night, and have now started my reading for that chapter. (FDrills and GReadings)

I like that Gregg teaches the most-used theory first. We get more interesting material and we get good at it, but the less-used theory ends up getting short-changed. With the amount I’m likely to use it, the rarer bits of theory won’t get any use at all.

I still don’t have the hang of writing squished loops. I don’t think to use them, can’t decide which to use, and my fingers don’t co-operate. I know, practice! They’re so incredibly rare that it’s frustrating!

“To indicate R after S, write the S in the opposite direction to what you normally would” is frustrating when between syllables. The initial choice of S depends on how you pronounce the word, and what’s easier to write. Now they want me to remember what is “correct” so I can reverse it? Not easy.

Leaving out R’s just because you can is also frustrating. Yes, I’ve rarely wondered about a final transcription, but the number of possibilities for every word doubled when I reached that rule. I rarely think to leave them out.

I think my sporadic practicing is actually of benefit, in one small way. Because I’m “colder”, when reading I see more outlines that could be read more than one way. Yes, they may have taught it only two lessons ago, but because I’ve half-forgotten it, I’m aware of the potential problem. If I use it for long-term notes, I can guarantee I’ll be “cold” when I read them, so conflicts are bad.

How does Simplified rate for these things? I broke down and bought the Simplified books, but I’ve flipped between systems so many times I hate to flip again before at least finishing Anni.


(by cricketbeautiful-1
for everyone)

11 comments Add yours
  1. The problem with the Anniversary Manual is that there is not a lot of reinforcement material in each of the lessons.  However, if you can get your hands on the little black and red books, the Functional Method version of Anniversary, you will have plenty of reinforcement.    The situation of having an outline that could be more than one word is trouble in an isolated instance (a world list) but if it's in a sentence, context should be able to give you a hint as to which word you wrote.    If you don't like the way Anniversary handles it's expressions of "r", perhaps it's not the version for you.  You don't find yourself placing the "r" in the word when reading it?  S-e-p-l-u-s doesn't make much sense if you read it "seeplus".  The omission of "r" seems nearly natural to me.  But, being from New England I am intimately aware of the slurring your r's.  To me, "l-a-j" for "large" seems right.    The flaw in your "my not practicing is sort of a plus" argument is that the less familiar with the system you are, the more difficulty you will have in reading it.  There will always be times when you come across an outline you can't decipher.  When that happens, grab your dictionary and look at the outline and the possible sounds (including if there's possibly a disjoined word beginning or ending – that's usually where I get hung up).  I've been able to find the answers by doing that. — I came across "paraphernalia" (disjoined p(ara) – f) and used that method to figure out the word.  It happens even now, and I've been doing this more than 20 years.  🙂   As for the loops for "ye" and "ya" — don't stress.  If you can't do it, don't.  In the later editions, "ye" is represented by e and "ya" by a.     You're going to have to pick a horse to ride.  With too many versions in your head, you will hesitate when writing because none of them are fixed in your mind.  The Fundamental Drills and Graded Readings should be able to give you additional reinforcement material.  I found the Fundamental Drills to be a rich source of material to impress the chapters theory on the memory. 

  2. The Third Edition (published 1941) of Gregg Speed Studies provides a wealth of supplementary material coordinated with EACH lesson in the Anniversary (1929) Manual. You'll find interesting reading and writing drills which should be studied and used after completing the corresponding lesson in the Manual.

    Warning: Stay away from the Second Edition as it's not nearly as well cone. And the original Speed Studies (1917) is 100% coordinated, lesson by lesson, with the 1916 Manual … so you need not use it unless you're working on Pre-Anniversary Gregg. It is an excellent book.

  3. Thanks for the feedback.

    With Fundamental Drills and Graded Reading I already have 2000 words of material for each chapter.

    I thought Speed Studies was for after you learned the theory, so I bought it last week, and it's in the mail. Yep, 3rd edition. I was very careful about that.

    I don't automatically put R's in when reading, but it's now (after chapter 7) one of the first things I try if I don't get a word right away. When writing real-world material I'll probably put it in. Like brief forms — if the "official" outline pops into my head, I use it, otherwise, "when in doubt, write it out". I'll need to stay alert for possible conflicts.

    Leaving things out is something I need to get used to. Trust the system!

    I write lists and point form more than full sentences, so "out of context" is important to me. After three decades of taking notes longhand, full sentences just feel wrong unless it's for someone else to read.

    When I encounter an undecipherable outline, I write out all the possibilities for each letter, one column per letter, most common on top. Seeing English letters is often enough. I do it maybe once per 300 words of new material. Maybe one time in five I need to let it sit overnight. I just started using the reverse dictionary on this site when that doesn't work. I'm finding, though, that the first method is better for learning.

    As I go through the manual, I'm making a list of "possibilities by letter".

    Ye and Ya don't bother me. It's like you and "R", I just hear them. It's "ily" "ally" and plurals that bother me. I reviewed them a few times, and they made sense, and I haven't noticed a problem reading, but I can't tell you what the rules are or use them when writing new words. I need to write the rules out in my own words and work on word lists for a bit. 5000 Words is a great book for that!

    You're so right about picking a horse to ride! I'm going to finish the entire Anni manual to 85wpm for prepared passages, although if I had a time machine I'd probably tell myself to start with Simplified and add Anni, like several others here.


  4. Perhaps the names are too similar –

    Gregg Speed Studies, First Edition and Third Edition, match lesson by lesson the 1916 manual and 1929 manual respectively, adding reading and writing practice. To achieve maximum value from Speed Studies, you should use the book with the manual … although you could use it for review after completing the theory. But why?

    Gregg Speed Building was designed for those who had completed the theory as a thorough review and drill of the system. For Annniversary you have Gregg Speed Building and Gregg Speed Building for Colleges.

    Both Speed Building books were redesigned for the Simplified Manual and are excellent tools for those who have learned Simplified to review and reinforce the system.

  5. Speed Studies, Speed Building — two different books, eh? Looks like I just spent $10 on something for the bookshelf. Sigh.

    Speed Building is now my wish list. (I spent $60 on abebooks last month. The site's off-limits till next month.)

    I thought it assumed you knew all the theory (and therefore could have more interesting material) but reviewed it chapter by chapter.


  6. What's are the differences between Anni Speed Building and A-S-B for Colleges? I'd prefer more variety in reading material, but don't want a dumbed-down vocabulary.

    Oooh, I see a self-teaching course based on Gregg Speed Building, from the US Navy. Three copies: 1943, 1944, and 1952. I assume the last is Simplified.

    Am I correct in thinking "Expert Speed Building" comes after "Speed Building", or does it vary with edition?

  7. I am a firm believer that theory review is ALWAYS good. If you save Speed Studies (whatever edition it is) until after you finish theory, you can still profit greatly. If you get stuck in Speed Studies, you know you need to go back to the corresponding section of the Manual and review, review, review!

    I'm also starting to think that reading and copying shorthand–something I used to think was a complete waste of time–is actually extremely useful in building speed. I spent years taking dictation and reading back when I think reading (and rereading and rereading) and then copying may have helped more. I can't prove it; it's just a hunch.


  8. Dear CB,

    Rather than retire Speed Studies to your bookshelf, you should be happy to have an extra resource to aid you in your chapter-by-chapterr traversal of the Manual. As AF1 wrote, if you do not concentrate and use the supplementary material available to you, you'll have problems with half-remembered outlines.

    If you've really studied the theory and practiced the examples, you'll find that questions like "left S" or "right S" never come up. Why? Because you will AUTOMATICALLY use the correct S without giving it a thought.

    Perhaps you should make an audio recording of all the example words in each lesson as you begin to study it and write the words to your own dictation. Drill, drill, drill … if you wish to master each lesson.

    Best of luck!

  9. I find reading new material is best. It keeps me challenged.

    If I have no difficulties with a passage on my first attempt, reading silently, then I consider it finished.

    If a passage is harder, I work at it until I can read it out loud almost normally, then go back a few days later and repeat the test.

    I find copying as I read the first time doesn't work as well. It slows me down, and I tend to work on individual words rather than the context. I often slip and just copy the letters rather than writing sentences.

    My goal for the day, once email and bills are done, is to go back and try a passage I've never seen the shorthand for. We'll see how it goes.


  10. Between the manual, Fundamental Drills, 5000 Words and Graded readings, I have over 2000 words and about three hours per lesson. I'm worried that adding another will, rather than give me more drills, just stall things further. I'll look at it when it arrives and decide then.

    Now, bills are done, email checked, and there's a dictation waiting for me. I find it harder to do dictation than the rest of it, so I'm usually a few chapters behind. Wish me luck!


  11. The benefit of rereading and reviewing prior material cannot be overstated.  You may enjoy the challenge of new matter, but the best reinforcement comes from review, review, review.  New is not always better — there is a great benefit to be gained by reading materials you've already covered.  The more you read, the easier dictation will be for you.  As for writing the lesson,   I forgot about the Speed Studies — it is an excellent follow-up to the lessons in the manual.  The speed building books don't actually have that much shorthand in them, it's geared more toward review and dictation.    Outline conflicts are not that big a deal.  If you don't write complete sentences, that's going to be a problem with your context tool.  More is better.  It's more important the colder the notes get.  If you think a word may cause trouble later, mark the vowels. 

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